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Nerdio Manager for MSP Case Study: DigaCore

CASE STUDY 

Learn how a Managed Service Provider in New Jersey drastically lowered their Azure compute and storage costs and increased their operational efficiency through rapid Azure Virtual Desktop deployments using Nerdio Manager for MSP. 

About DigaCore 

DigaCore Technology Consulting Company is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) in New Jersey that offers consulting services, cloud computing, and security solutions and delivers their proactive maintenance services through flat-rate IT support. Their market focus is small and medium-sized businesses in health care, financial services, and many other sectors. Clients count on them to have the tools and expertise to deliver, enabling them to pay attention to their business, not their technology. 

The Situation 

As the Chief Technology Officer at DigaCore, Nathan Berger had the technical ability and experience to handle Microsoft Azure infrastructure deployment and management. However, day-to-day management of that infrastructure was most often handled by others with varying job titles, levels of experience, and abilities. “Azure is great, but often too technical for day-to-day managers,” Mr. Berger said. 

The technical challenges of building a native Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) environment at scale were the first task for the DigaCore team to tackle. However, even more complicated was the management and optimization of that AVD system and its use – at scale. 

“We knew we had to get into the AVD space. It was something our clients require from us and we want to give it to them,” said Mr. Berger.

When choosing a partner and product to help them deliver that kind of service to clients, DigaCore chose Nerdio Manager for MSP. 

Business Needs 

The selection process was careful and considered. As DigaCore surveyed the landscape for solutions that would meet the need for a robust yet accessible way to manage AVD environments, they discovered Nerdio. “After a lot of research, we ended up trialing several solutions, and Nerdio Manager for MSP came out as the clear winner,” Mr. Berger said. 

“When we used Nerdio, we found its functionality – such as visualization – made it perfect for managers with less technical skill.” 

For the whole DigaCore team, implementing Nerdio Manager for MSP brought time savings, ease of use, and visibility into client activities. Nerdio Manager for MSP made it possible to deliver information and accessibility to both their full internal team as well as clients. 

More Than the Right Tech 

The technical aspects of Nerdio Manager for MSP were on the mark, but what truly set Nerdio apart was the customer service. The Nerdio team delivered for DigaCore as they tested and rolled out the solution. 

“Whenever we had questions, the Nerdio team was extremely responsive. In working with them I have a trusted vendor who has my back,” said Mr. Berger.

As one of the first adopters of Nerdio Manager for MSP, DigaCore has noted two major benefits: flexibility and speed. “I have the ability to build exactly what the customer needs as opposed to ‘one-size-fits-all,’ and I’ve also been struck by just how fast Nerdio refreshes and gives visibility into exactly what’s going on with users,” Mr. Berger says. 

The Results

One specific example illustrates the difference Nerdio Manager for MSP makes in DigaCore’s product lineup. A client had five to ten users running on a remote desktop environment. DigaCore initially chose to have those users work within an on-premises data center rather than in Azure simply because it was more accessible for their technicians to manage. Then, the client experienced explosive growth that led them from ten users to several dozen within a few weeks. The strain of scaling up was significant. DigaCore met that challenge by migrating the client to Azure, using Nerdio Manager for MSP to make it efficient and successful.

“It’s a much faster and cleaner environment for the client, and Nerdio also makes it possible to scale up to meet any demands. It won’t matter if they have ten users or thousands,” said Mr. Berger.

Nerdio has brought ease-of-use, scalability and real partnership to the relationship with DigaCore. As an MSP, DigaCore’s most significant pain point was the complexity of Azure environments. They needed all their technical staff to be able to solve any client issues that might arise. “We didn’t want a senior technician to be the only one that we could call on. Nerdio gives the outstanding capability to our whole technical team. It’s so fast and easy,” said Mr. Berger, “Nerdio’s team helped us understand what would work best for our use case.” 

Find Nerdio in the Azure Marketplace: nerdio. co/nmm

AVD MANAGEMENT

Multi-Cloud and On-Premises Deployment with Azure Stack HCI (Coming Soon)

Deploy Azure Virtual Desktop in Azure and extend the session host VM placement to on-premises and other cloud using Azure Stack HCI. Nerdio Manager automates deployment of session hosts, AVD agent installation, and full integration into the AVD deployment in Azure.

Create a brand new Azure Virtual Desktop environment or allow Nerdio Manager to discover an existing deployment, connecting to existing resources, and manage them.

Deploy Nerdio Manager from Azure Marketplace and configure a new AVD environment with an easy to follow, step-by-step configuration wizard. First group of users can access their AVD desktop in less than 2 hours.

Service providers, system integrators, and consultants can leverage Nerdio Manager’s scripted AVD deployment template. Create complete environments with desktop images, host pools, and auto-scaling in minutes.

Create and manage AVD environments that span Azure regions and subscriptions. Quickly link Vnets and resource groups and manage AVD deployments world-wide from unified portal.

Link multiple Azure tenants under the same Nerdio Manager instance and manage AVD deployments that span Azure AD tenants. User identities and session host VMs can run in separate tenants for maximum flexibilty and security.

Deploy and manage AVD environments that span across sovereign Azure Clouds. Cross-sovereign cloud support allows identity (e.g. users and groups) to be in one Azure Cloud, while session host VMs are in another Azure Cloud.

Management of workspaces, host pools, app groups, RemoteApps & custom RDP settings

Administer every aspect of AVD with Nerdio Manager including workspaces, host pools, application groups, RemoteApp publishing, RDP properties, session time limits, FSLogix, and much, much more. Every Azure service that AVD relies on can be managed with Nerdio Manager.

Deploy and manage AVD session host VMs. Hosts can be created manually or with auto-scaling, deleted on-demand or on a schedule, re-imaged to apply updates, run a scripted action, resized, put into or taken out of drain mode, and more.

Manage user sessions across the entire AVD environment, within a workspace, host pool or on a single host. Monitor session status, disconnect or log off the user, shadow or remote control to provide support, or send user an on-screen message.

End users have the ability to log into Nerdio Manager with their Azure AD credentials and manage their own session, restart their desktop VM, or start a session host if none are started in a host pool. (Ability to resize and re-image own desktop is coming soon.)

Create, link, and manage Azure Files shares including AD domain join. Synchronize Azure Files permissions with host pools, configure quotas, and enable SMB multi-channel. Manage file lock handles and configure Azure Files auto-scaling to increase quota as needed.

Create, link, and manage Azure NetApp Files accounts, capacity pools and volumes. Configure provisioned volume size, monitor usage, and use auto-scaling to automatically adjust volume and capacity pool size to accommodate the needed capacity and latency requirements.

FSLogix configuration can be complex and overwheling, but not with Nerdio Manager. Create one or more FSLogix profiles with all the needed options, point at one or more Azure Files, Azure NetApp Files, or server locations and select from VHDLocations, CloudCache and Azure Blob storage modes.

Multiple identity source profiles can be set up and used automatically on different host pools. Active Directory, Azure AD DS, and Native Azure AD are all supported. Choose the appropriate directory profile when adding a host pool and all VMs will automatically join this directory when being created.

Create a copy of a host pool with all of its settings: auto-scale config, app groups and RemoteApps, MSIX AppAttach, user/group assignments, VM deployment settings, etc. Save time by creating host pool “templates” that can be cloned to any Workspace, Azure region or subscription instead of starting from scratch.

Apply user session time limits at host pool level. Automatically log off disconnected sessions, limit the duration of idle sessions, control empty RemoteApp session behavior and more.

Assign Azure AD users to personal desktops to ensure the user will log into a pre-configured VM. Un-assign personal desktops from users who leave the organization and re-use these VMs for new users.

Pre-configure custom Azure tags for all Azure resources associated with each host pool. Tags can be used for charge-back and cost allocation by host pool.

When creating session hosts using NV-series VMs NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers are automatically installed.

Move existing host pools from Fall 2019 (Classic) object model to Spring 2020 (ARM) object model. Choose to whether to move or copy user assignments. Existing session hosts are automatically migrated or new ones can be created in the ARM host pool.

Automatically enable and configure AVD integration with Azure monitor. Zero configuration required. Azure Monitor Insights for AVD can be used instead of or in conjunction with Sepago Monitor.

AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Cloud PC migration (Coming Soon)

Migrate users from AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PCs using an existing image and user assignment. (Coming soon)

WINDOWS 365 ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT

Cloud PC License Usage Optimization (Coming Soon)

Cloud PC device lifecycle management

Cloud PC user group assignment

Intune primary user management on Cloud PCs

Migrate AVD personal desktops to Cloud PCs (Coming Soon)

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